Plant amaryllis bulbs for a dazzling holiday bloom, then keep them coming back year after year with proper care.
-Amaryllis blooms are one of the special treats of the holiday season. Often, amaryllis bulbs are sold unplanted so you need to pot them up. Simply place the bulb roots down into potting soil and bury so that the upper half of the bulb called the shoulder is exposed. Use a soil topper like the Spanish moss to dress up the container. The bulb will send up a flower stalk a few weeks after planting. Sometimes, plants become top heavy and start to lean. If so, tie the flower stalk to a small stick. Water only after the soil dries out. When the flowers fade, snip off the old stalks near the bulb. Amaryllis is long lived and re-blooms easily. The bulbs will send up leaves either with the blooms or soon after. Don't cut them off if you want to keep the plant alive. Give the plants bright light. Water only when dry and fertilize sparingly just once or twice a year. They can be kept indoors year round, but they really thrive outdoors spring through fall in light shade or morning sun. At first frost or in October if you keep the plant indoors, stop watering and move the container to a dark dry place such as a basement. It does not need to be cold. The leaves will wither and dry in a few weeks. Once they do, bring the plant back into a lit environment, water it, and the flower stalk should appear within a few weeks, starting the cycle all over again.
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